Featured News

  • 30 May 2016 1:37 PM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)

    A tradition that began as a Great Falls Volunteer Fire Department fundraiser in the early 1960's, the July 4th fireworks were held every year until the summer of 1985, when house construction made fireworks near the Fire Station unsafe.  Local organizations banded together and brought the fireworks back in 1996.  After two decades, in 2014 a lull in support and volunteers left the skies dark again.  Our community responded and the effort was made to light up the skies again.  Last year's July 4th celebration was a welcomed return of this Great Falls tradition and a huge success, thanks to generous people like you!

    As every year, the Great Falls Fireworks needs your help again.  The support of money and time by local residents and businesses make the fireworks possible each year.  The organizers want to make this year's fireworks even better!  Small changes have been made to the sponsorship packages to further improve the VIP experience.  Please consider one of the sponsorship options, or make a donation of any amount.  Volunteers are also needed for the weeks leading up to and on the night of the big event!

    For information please visit: www.celebrategreatfalls.org.  Or contact Adrienne West at themrswest@hotmail.com or Eamon McCrann at emccrann@lpc.com with questions.

  • 28 May 2016 8:41 AM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)

    The County Planning Commission has deferred a decision on Brooks Farm to allow the applicant to address certain issues with the project.  On May 9, GFCA sent Supervisor Foust and the Planning Commission a letter of opposition to the project, citing several unresolved concerns.  (see related news story earlier in this blog).

    On May 19, Supervisor Foust responded to GFCA's letter with the following:

    "Thank you for your letter of May 9 regarding the Brooks Farm application. Thank you also for all the efforts you, the GFCA and other community members have made to work with my office, county staff and the applicant on the proposal. All of us have worked long and hard on this application. I think we have made progress along the way, however, I agree that there are still issues that must be addressed.

    I have made it clear to the applicant that I believe your letter identifies legitimate concerns. John Ulfelder has deferred the Planning Commission decision to provide the applicant with a relatively short time to address those concerns. I think everyone agrees this process has gone on long enough and everyone, especially the neighbors around Brooks Farm, deserves resolution. I do not expect any more delays and I believe the applicant understands that the most recent deferral is the final opportunity to address the remaining issues that the GFCA has identified.

    John W. Foust
    Dranesville District Supervisor
    Fairfax County"

  • 10 May 2016 7:56 AM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)

    On May 9, GFCA President Eric Knudsen sent letters to Supervisor John Foust and the Fairfax County Planning Commission, reaffirming GFCA's continued opposition to the development as currently proposed.  In the letter, Knudsen cited the GFCA's opinion that the applicant has failed in multiple ways to meet the objectives of the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan, which (among other objectives) establishes that the County "should encourage a land use pattern that protects, enhances, and/or maintains stability in established residential neighborhoods", which includes protecting and enhancing "existing neighborhoods by ensuring that infill development is of compatible use, and density/intensity, and that adverse impacts on public facility and transportation systems, the environment, and the surrounding community will not occur" (Objective 8(a), Comprehensive Plan).

    Knudsen cited many inadequacies of the proposal from GFCA's perspective, including that it:

    • fails to sufficiently address environmental and storm water management concerns raised by experts engaged by GFCA and the community
    • contains and unacceptable plan for tree preservations and fails to address likely damage to trees on adjacent properties
    • includes requests for several waivers of county requirements, which seem unacceptable in an application for cluster development
    • fails to address the potential negative consequences of an existing easement for access to Springvale Rd, which easement was not voluntarily disclosed
    The full text of the letter is available here:
    Foust_Brooks_05092016.pdf
  • 05 May 2016 5:10 AM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)

    GFCA will hold an important Town Hall meeting on Brooks Farm on Tuesday, May 10 at 7:30 pm at the Great Falls Library.  The program will feature presentations by Great Falls residents who have been involved recently in the negotiations over certain issues arising from a proposal to rezone Brooks Farm as a cluster development;  these issues include storm water management, tree preservation and road access.  The developer, Basheer & Edgemoor, has revised its original development proposal several times in the past year in response to discussions with Fairfax County and Great Falls residents.  The Fairfax County Planning Commission held a hearing on the proposal on January 21, 2016 but has deferred a decision while several remaining issues are addressed.  These issues will be covered at this GFCA meeting.  

    GFCA continues to oppose approval of the current proposal.

    All GFCA members and Great Falls residents are encouraged to attend, both because of Brooks Farm’s importance and also because this meeting will provide a window into how the County evaluates rezoning and development proposals, and how the opinions of neighbors, HOAs, civic organizations and residents factor into their decision.


  • 31 Mar 2016 4:38 PM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)

    The demolition of the old Exxon station was finally started today, promising the correction of a multi-year eyesore as the site is cleared for the eventual construction of a TD bank location.  The old Exxon station site has been the focus of groundwater contamination clean up efforts for the past few years.  Those efforts will continue at this site, as well as across Walker Road underneath the shopping center parking lot to which the contamination has spread.

  • 31 Mar 2016 11:58 AM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)

    GFCA is seeking volunteers with an interest in our community who are willing to serve as Directors on the GFCA Executive Board for the term beginning July 1.  

    No previous board experience is needed – just an interest in serving Great Falls. 

    Candidates must be GFCA members and be present at our Town Hall meeting on May 10, 7:30 p.m.  GFCA elections will be held Jun 14, 7:30 p.m.  

    Contact Ed Phillips, Nominations Chair, at Nominations@gfca.org for more information or express interest.


  • 14 Mar 2016 12:29 PM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)

    Today, plans were announced for the demolition of the old Exxon station, which has been an eyesore in Great Falls for the past few years complicated by the need to clean up groundwater contamination from past gasoline spills at the site.  The land is currently owned by Capital Petroleum, with plans to have a new TD Bank branch constructed there.

    In a meeting this morning with Supervisor Foust, TD bank representatives disclosed:

    • Although TD Bank has not taken possession of the site, they have now arranged with Capitol Petroleum to demolish and remove the building and canopy. Demolition efforts will begin around April 1 2016.

    • TD Bank’s site plan has been approved by Fairfax County. They expect to begin construction in August 2016 and complete in January 2017. They plan to open for business next February.



  • 27 Feb 2016 5:42 PM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)

    In response to residents’ concerns about loss of tree canopy in Great Falls neighborhoods, community organizations have teamed up to present a public Tree Forum at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at the Grange, 9818 Georgetown Pike. 

    The speakers will discuss preserving trees during the residential development process, particularly on in-fill lots, and how county officials, local residents, and developers can best work together. They can also address other tree related concerns, such as best care and planting of trees, tree trimming and removal along roads and utility lines, and the environmental benefits of trees.

    This program is open to the public and is sponsored by Supervisor John Foust, Fairfax County Tree Commission, Great Falls Citizens Association (GFCA), Fairfax County Urban Forest Management Division (UFMD), and Virginia Cooperative Extension.  The Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA) will also be represented.

    Any meeting updates can be found on GFCA's Event calendar here



  • 27 Feb 2016 5:14 PM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)

    On February 16, County Executive Ed Long released his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2017. The Board of Supervisors is currently conducting an extensive review of the Advertised Budget.

    On March 23, Supervisor John Foust will be holding a public meeting in Great Falls to present the budget and hear from residents.  School Board member Jane Strauss will also be present to discuss the proposed 2017 school budget.  County staff experts from the Office of Management and Budget will be part of the presentation and will answer questions.  

    The meeting will be held on Mar 23, at 7 p.m., at the Great Falls Grange.


  • 12 Feb 2016 3:05 PM | Philip Pifer (Administrator)

    As part of our effort to provide feedback to FAA working groups studying noise from low flying aircraft in our area (see Jan 30 2016 post in Transportation News), GFCA's Transportation Committee is conducting a survey to determine whether aircraft noise is an issue for residents in any part of Great Falls.

    If you haven't already taken the survey, you can give us your opinion here:

    Take GFCA Aircraft Noise Survey here

The opinions expressed on these pages are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of the Great Falls Citizens Association

Great Falls Citizens Association
PO Box 27  •  Great Falls, VA  •  22066 

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